Amazon sword plants lacking something, but what?

  • #1
My amazon swords are looking sad.

Light: T5HO 54w, on 5 hours daily (due to high light)
Temp: 78F
Substrate: sand, used Oscomote fertcicles for awhile, just switched to MGOS fertcicles w/ CSM+B (frozen form to insert)
Fertilizers: E.I. dosing for 40-60G, increased to 60-80g last week
*Started EI 6/10.
6/10: 50% pwc, 3 x 1/4 tsp CSM+B, 1/2 tsp KNO3, 60mL Excel,
Fresh mix CO2 (sugar, yeast, baking soda), 2 x 3L bottles
6/11: 3 x 1/4 tsp KH2PO4
6/12: 1/2 tsp KNO3, 2x 1/4 tsp KH2PO4
6/13: 1/2 tsp CSM+B
6/14: 1/2 tsp KNO3, 2x 1/4 tsp KH2PO4
6/15: (missed)
6/16: 60% pwc, added MGOS fertcicles under swords
6/17: 1/2 tsp KNO3, 2x 1/4 tsp KH2PO4
6/18: 1/2 tsp CSM+B
6/19: 1/2 tsp KNO3, 2x 1/4 tsp KH2PO4
6/20: (missed)
6/21: 1/2 tsp CSM+B
6/22: (missed, can't remember)
6/23: rest
6/24: 6.5 pH, 10 phosphate, nitrate 5 (1st time, always reads 0,
Increased KNO3 this month), 1/2 tsp KNO3, 2x 1/4 K2SO4
(Switched to lower phosphates)
6/25: KH 4, GH 7, added calcium block for snails, 1/2 tsp
6/26: unsure, no record
6/27: increased CSM+B to 1 tsp (raised from 1/2 tsp)
6/28: increased KNO3 to 3/4 tsp, increased K2SO4 to 1/4 tsp
6/29: plants showing iron & magnesium deficiency
1/2 tsp CSM+B
6/30: 3/4 tsp KNO3, 1/4 tsp K2SO4
7/1: GH 9, KH 4, phosphate 10, ammonia .25ish, nitrate 40-80
(Hard to read), 60% wc w/ stress coat, added MGOS
+CSM+B fertcicles 2 by each sword

7/1-current, no dosing, watching parameters w/ DIY root ferts

*I suspect iron needs to be added to substrate and/or water.
  • Thread Starter
  • #2


  • uploadfromtaptalk1341447476241.jpg
    31.4 KB · Views: 2,166
  • uploadfromtaptalk1341447492618.jpg
    40.3 KB · Views: 561
  • uploadfromtaptalk1341447510101.jpg
    36 KB · Views: 3,365
  • uploadfromtaptalk1341447547861.jpg
    45.1 KB · Views: 1,055
  • uploadfromtaptalk1341447561429.jpg
    31.1 KB · Views: 804
  • uploadfromtaptalk1341447584829.jpg
    44.7 KB · Views: 529
  • uploadfromtaptalk1341447614591.jpg
    37.4 KB · Views: 418
  • uploadfromtaptalk1341447644390.jpg
    56.6 KB · Views: 616
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
The vals grow great, so do the crypts. The ludwiga reopens grows roots mid center.
  • #4

HI Psalm,

See if the links above will help you while you wait for more responses.

  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks Ken.
  • #6
The first picture is of a typical leaf that is dieing back. This is very common with plants. Simply cut it off at the base and be done with it.

The browning near the tips of the leaves appears to be a nitrogen issue.

I also see rips and holes in some of the leaves. The rips could be caused by the inhabitants or by normal maintenance. I've done that to my taller plants many times over. One photo looks like a sucker fish has caused some damage too.

Some areas appear to have pinholes. These are a sign of potassium deficiency. Potassium should be proportionately dosed with nitrates.

I do not see any iron deficiency. Lack of iron causes yellow leaves but the veins remain green. Instead I suspect this may be caused by a magnesium deficiency as a lack of magnesium causes plants to not be able to utilize iron, but could also point to nickel or zinc.

Regardless of which dosing regime you decide to follow there are target parameters to know when you are over or under dosing compounds. Your latest parameters indicate that both phosphate and nitrate is being overdosed; and potassium is underdosed. I am concerned to see you have measurable ammonia, so your tank may also be going through a minI cycle.

Using IE dosing guidelines in a 55G tank, recommendations are the following 3 times a week:

1/2 tsp KNO3
1/8 tsp KH2PO4
1/8 tsp K2SO4
1/8 tsp CSM+B

According to your log, if I am understanding it, you have been dosing:

1/2 tsp KNO3
1/2 tsp KH2PO4, I'm sorry but that is enough for a 300G tank!
No K2SO4
1/2 CSM+B

My recommendation would be to do the following:

First things first is to get those nitrates down where they belong. I'd do a 75% water change.

Run lighting for 6 hours a day

Maintain your CO2 levels with products of choice

Follow the recommendations on the substrate products you have decided to use. I have never used Osmocote in an aquatic setting because it does not contain the correct balance.

Dose the following:
Macros on Mon, Wed and Friday
1/2 tsp KNO3
1/4 tsp K2SO4 to give your plants a little extra to fight off what appears to be the start of a deficiency
No KH2PO4, it is going take a long time to use up those phosphates

Micros on Tues, Thurs and Saturday
1/4 tsp CSM+B
1/2 tsp Epsom Salts to increase the magnesium and help iron uptake

run all parameter tests and post them so we can make adjustments for the next week
Do at least a 50% water change

The target ranges I like to use are (EI targets in parenthesis):

5-20 PPM nitrate (5-30 PPM)
0.1-0.2 PPM iron (0.2-0.5 PPM)
2-5 PPM phosphate (1.0-2.0 PPM)
GH and KH 4 degrees or higher (3-5 degrees)

Good luck stabilizing your tank and finding the right balance for your plants.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thanks, will do. I gave the tank a break this week so I can start fresh SUN.
I always do 50% weekly water change, minimum.

I was surprised to see nitrates, as I always test 0, even with dosing. I raised the KNO3 just to get a reading. I really need to bring those phosphates down. My tap measures 0.

I read people have used pond plant root tabs for amazon swords successfully. I may give it a try. They are high in iron.

I do have the dull green, veining on some leaves indicating iron loss, just can't capture on film.

I really wish I could test my magnesium and calcium levels.
  • #8
By dosing Epsom Salts you will be adding magnesium. It will slightly raise your GH, but nothing too extreme. And if this is what is missing your plants will uptake it and there will be very little change.

There are test kits for magnesium and calcium. They tend to be expensive though.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I stopped dosing E.I. for a week to see how it affected my parameters.
Today's readings:
GH 8
KH 6
PH 6.4

I'm concerned with the pH being so low. May be caused by new rocks. I've used DIY CO2 for awhile w/out such low readings. May pull CO2 and dose Excel to see if makes a difference.

I'm guessing the DIY fertilizer cubes are raising the nitrates and ammonia.

I trimmed the swords so they are healthier.

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
Nate McFin
  • Locked
Top Bottom